US ethane spot prices weaken on tepid demand, weak natural gas

25 June 2013 22:43  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethane spot prices weakened on Tuesday in a volatile trading day that saw prices climb early then plummet on weak demand.

Ethane spot prices were at 24.50 cents/gal at Tuesday's end after rising as high as 25.63 cents/gal.

Sources said demand waned in the late morning as a big buyer left the market after being very active on Monday.

Natural gas futures also added downward pressure as they closed down by 9.2 cents at $3.647/MMBtu.

Ethane spot prices had been on the rebound after falling below 23 cents/gal during the week ending 14 June. It was the first time since January that ethane spot prices had dropped below that level.

Several cracker outages had suppressed demand, but many of them have since restarted, bolstering demand.

However, ethane supply continues to remain long, and many analysts and market participants believe it will continue that way until many planned cracker projects start up around 2017.

By: Bobbie Clark
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